Four decades before digital social networking existed, psychologists Jeffrey Travers and Stanley Milgram conducted a fascinating experiment to show how truly interconnected we all are. They gave letters to random people in Nebraska that included a recipient's name in Massachusetts—but no address! Travers and Milgram asked the participants to forward the letter to anyone they knew who might know someone who might know someone else who might ultimately know the recipient. It took an average of only 5.2 intermediaries for each letter to reach its final destination in Boston.
What does this mean for you and your real estate business? There’s probably someone in your social network who desperately needs your services—you just need to find them! Here is a simple, strategic approach to maximizing success by organizing your current social network to cultivate your sphere of influence.
You’ve been on this planet for at least a few decades, and you’ve undoubtedly met a lot of people. Consolidate your contact list (including your connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networking sites), and enter this information into a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system. Finding the right CRM for you takes work, but the payoff could be well worth it!
Labeling your contacts allows you to target your perfectly crafted marketing message to the right audience. For example, you may want to forward an article about local home prices to longtime homeowners in your community. If you don’t segment your message, you’ll send it to everyone, including contacts who don’t care about that particular topic. If your message isn’t relevant to your recipients, you may end up annoying them.
Whatever you do, avoid spamming your sphere of influence. Focus on sending valuable information to prospects that will position you as an expert in your field. Post articles, infographics, and helpful tips on social media, reach out to your clientele via email, and throw in the occasional piece of marketing snail mail.
It’s a big world out there! Thanks to current technology, it’s much easier to stay connected with the people you meet at the chamber of commerce, cocktail parties, your kids’ school functions, local fundraising events, service organizations, soccer games, the coffee shop… wherever! Make it a habit to send LinkedIn and Facebook requests to anyone who offers you a business card. The more people you know, the further your reach extends!
If you’re like most real estate professionals, you love to socialize and you’ve been building your sphere of influence your entire life. Now it’s time to take a strategic approach to organizing and cultivating the contacts you’ve gathered, so your next big client can find you when they're ready to buy or sell!